Discover Financial Services (DFS): Today's Featured Financial Winner

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Discover Financial Services ( DFS) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Discover Financial Services rose $0.82 (1.6%) to $53.22 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,616,186 shares of Discover Financial Services exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,107,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $52.50-$53.38 after having opened the day at $52.52 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.40. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Universal Insurance Holdings ( UVE), up 10.2%, NewStar Financial ( NEWS), up 9.6%, First Marblehead Corporation ( FMD), up 9.2% and KCG Holdings Inc Class A ( KCG), up 7.8%.

Discover Financial Services, a bank holding company, provides direct banking and payment services in the United States. It operates in two segments, Direct Banking and Payment Services. Discover Financial Services has a market cap of $24.9 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 35.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Discover Financial Services a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Discover Financial Services as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the negative front, DFC Global ( DLLR), down 8.4%, IFM Investments ( CTC), down 6.7%, Noah Holdings ( NOAH), down 5.8% and Direxion Daily Latin America Bull 3X Shares ( LBJ), down 5.4% , were all laggards within the financial sector with Vornado Realty ( VNO) being today's financial sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial sector could consider Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) while those bearish on the financial sector could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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